Here's our guide to the top pelvic floor exercises for pregnant women to prepare for labor and get relief from pelvic floor pain in a natural way.
WHAT IS THE ANATOMY OF A FEMALE PELVIS AND CAN PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES AFFECT YOUR FERTILITY?
The musculature of the pelvic area support pelvic floor organs, stabilise connecting joints, and act as a venous and lymphatic pump for the female pelvis. They create a suspension for the uterus and also influence anteriorly the vagina, fallopian tubes and bladder and posteriorly, the colon. Poor posture and possible distortion of the pelvic girdle bones may affect the reproductive and digestive system proper functioning.
WHAT ARE PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES?
Pelvic floor exercises are great both for men & women, and they are particularly recommended during and after pregnancy or if you suffer from incontinence. The aim of pelvic floor exercises is to tone and increase blood, oxygen and nutrient flow to the pelvic area in order for pelvic floor muscles to be strong and supple.
Strengthening your pelvic area will help the regulation of menstruation and will improve a better elimination of the blood flow. A strong and healthy pelvic area will also make sex more enjoyable as you will have greater control over your vagina muscles.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF WEAK PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES?
Most people with weak pelvic floor muscles experience pain in the groin and pubic area. Some of them may also experience pain while walking, parting the legs or moving around the bed that usually gets worse at night.
Another symptom can be a clicking sensation around the pubic area or pain down the inside of your thighs and at the back of the pelvis.
WHAT IS PPGP (PREGNANCY-RELATED PELVIC GIRDLE PAIN?
Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) is pain in the pelvic area that sometimes develop during pregnancy and significantly impacts women’s lives both physically and psychologically.
In pregnancy pelvic pain can develop because the baby’s head goes deep, causing a lot of pressure against the hip, bladder and pelvis, stressing the pelvic joints. If the body doesn’t adapt quickly to this change, some women develop pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain.
Women who are more likely to experience pelvic girdle pain, are the ones who have had previous injury to the pelvis or have a history of pelvic girdle pain. Emotional stress and smoking may be contributing factors to pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain so this is another good reason why it is essential to stop smoking while pregnant and try to manage stress in different ways.
Pelvic girdle pain can become a serious condition so it is important to get help asap if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Talk to your doctor and get an early diagnosis so you can act on it promptly and avoid long term discomfort
CAN MASSAGE FOR PREGNANCY HELP WITH PAINFUL GROINS?
Research suggests that Massage for Pregnancy can create a significant positive changes over time. In this study, women suffering from pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain report a lower rating of pain postmassage and one week postmassage treatment. This result was important as women reported not only a physical improvement but also psychological and emotional benefits as PPGP can be very debilitating and stressful.
During our Massage for pregnancy London, our experienced practitioner will release the pressure along your groin, upper thighs and glutes which often get restricted and may worsen pelvic pain.
Massage for pregnancy is also very relaxing and stimulates the release endorphins which are natural body painkillers.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES AND AVOID PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION:
1) TRY TO DO THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE EVERYDAY:
a. Stand, sit, lie down or SQUAT! Squatting is the hardest position but it is the most effective.
To prevent using your buttock and thighs instead of pelvic floor muscles, try to perform the exercises with your legs opened apart. You may practice it at home and try to put a finger in the vagina to check you are squeezing the correct muscles.
b. Breath into your abdomen by expanding your abdominal muscles as if you were filling a balloon; as you breathe out, contract your abdominal muscles to flatten it. Repeat 3 times. Don’t contract it for more than 10 seconds and allow 10 minutes before exercising them again. The pelvic floor consists of fast-twitch muscles which tire easily.
c. On your next inhalation, expand your abdomen while “pushing down” into your genitals, feeling the pelvic floor lowering down. As you exhale, pull up the pelvic floor. Repeat 3 times.
d. Lift and release your vagina muscles for 10 times quickly. Repeat it until you don’t feel warmth in your vagina. Don’t be discouraged if you struggle to feel these muscles for the first few attempts.
e. You may imagine bringing energy into your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries as you inhale and squeeze the vaginal muscles. Feel a glowing warmth spread throughout the pelvis.
2) TRY YOGA FOR PELVIC FLOOR PAIN
Yoga for the pelvic floor is a great choice if you experience pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain as it enhances mobility to muscles in and around the pelvic floor and improves the strength and coordination of pelvic floor muscle contractions.
Pelvic floor yoga may help with the following conditions:
Urinary incontinence that often is caused by a weakened pelvic floor. Pelvic floor yoga can help a woman to regain urinary control by strengthening, stabilising and softening the pelvic floor muscles.
Pain associated with menstrual cramps and endometriosis. Although pelvic floor yoga can’t be considered as a cure, it can certainly help a woman to manage the symptoms associated to these conditions. In fact it helps to strengthen, stretch and relax the pelvic muscles which usually are really tight in women suffering from menstrual cramps and endometriosis.
Low libido. Thanks to the strengthening of the pelvic floor a woman can benefit from greater pleasure when having sex, by improving body awareness and the control of the muscles that need to relax to have pain-free penetrative sex.
For more ideas about the best yoga poses to release pelvic floor pain and back pain, you can read this article "WHAT ARE THE BEST YOGA POSES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO RELIEVE LOW BACK PAIN?"
3) Watch the video below for 5 SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE EXERCISES OR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES to do it in the comfort of your home!
HOW OFTEN SHALL I DO PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES DURING PREGNANCY?
Pregnancy Pelvic floor exercises can be performed anywhere, anytime so try to do them every day!
Here are some simples ideas:
do pelvic circling, tilts or pelvic floor exercises while washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, or cooking
squat every time you need to bend down
squat or sit on the medicinal ball when watching TV, chatting on the phone or working at your desk
Book today your first appointment, and boost your health during pregnancy with our super relaxing and effective massage for pregnancy London!
We hope you now feel more confident about the best pelvic exercises for pregnant women and we have inspired you to incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine so that you can fortify your pelvic area and enjoy all the benefits!